Tea For Two–Or One!

The most economical way to buy tea is in bulk.  Usually it is fresher andthe cost per ounce is less.  The downside is steaming the tea to extract the full flavor and straining out the leaves.  Now you can do both, a twofer, or two for tea with the Kamjove Press Art Tea Cup.

Like the French Press, this  is a great way to brew a cuppa.  With a patented press valve you can control strength, no leaking when you stop pressing, and stainless steel double filter nets make this item a must have for the tea drinker.

Prices range from $20-$25, at various web sites including Ebay, and local Asian specialty stores such as Noodles & Company.


Okay, Labor Day Weekend spells the end of summer and perhaps the last family summer picnic.  Hot dogs, burgers, potato salad and more.  Sounds heavy, right?  Where does dessert come in–yeah, I know there’s always room for jello, but come on that squiggly mixture can turn into a gloppy mess in hot weather, and it’s not that exciting.

What would you say to a frozen delicious dessert that can rival your favorite gelato, frozen yogurt, is super healthy and  takes minutes to prepare?  Yonanas is a new kitchen gadget that takes those bananas turning brown and turns them into a delicious soft ice cream or fruit popsicle.  Great for the family and cost effective, too.   $49.95+sh, best price on shipping and handling at HSN.

Without a heavy dessert to slow you down, you can scoop all those Labor Day Weekend bargains!



Slice, Dice, Scoop, and Scrape!

Sounds kind of gruesome, but to avid kitchen gadgeteers the thought of being able to do 4 prep jobs with one tool spells must-have!  The Kuhn Rikon set of 2 Scrape and Scoop nonstick knives makes short work with blades made  from Japanese high carbon stainless steel.  Nonstick coating in 1 of 7 popular colors insure a speedy clean-up.  Wide chef knife comes with a knife cover for safety and protection.  Get a set of 2 at QVC for $19.86+sh.

Kuhn Rikon makes it easy to be knife happy!

Good Batter Best!

Most bakers know that you shouldn’t over mix batter for  quick breads, muffins, scones and biscuits–but how can you tell if it is mixed too much?  Well, electric mixers make it easy to incorporate all ingredients evenly, but mixers on certain bake goods can over mix and the results can be a dense, dry and flavorless muffin, or tunnels created in baked goods from an excess of air bubbles beaten into the batter.  So, to get the best results ingredients should be blended just enough to blend the wet and dry ingredients together.

But that’s so hard, I mean all that hand work, right?  And how do you get rid of the lumps?

Don’t despair, the ingenious Wilton® Batter Blender comes to the rescue!  The silicone hand blender  can mix the heaviest batter and it’s scalloped tips can break up any  lumps and will scrape the bowl clean–beside, it’s dishwasher safe.  At Amazon $9.63 or The HomeMarket Place, $11.99.

A Razor That Shaves Chocolate!

What is better than chocolate?  Nothing!  Unless it’s chocolate on chocolate.  Decorating a chocolate cake with chocolate ribbons, cupcakes with chocolate shavings, or just making it faster to melt chocolate to  make that wonderful ganache just got easier and cheaper with this handy kitchen gadget from Crate & Barrel.

 We all know how the microplaners have made our meal prep easier and this shaver finely slices  and shaves not only chocolate, but can be used on nuts, soft cheeses, and butter!  Comes with a blade guard and is dishwasher safe.  The Microplane Chocolate Shaver, reg. $14.95 on sale for $7.50 at Crate & Barrel is limited in quanties–so order now.

Crate &  Barrel Winter Sale going on now!


Any candidate of Gordon Ramsey’s “Master Chef,” loves the new innovative kitchen gadgets that make our dishes looking professional with less effort.  All those aspirants will love this new gadget MarkdownMom found  in the new Chefs catalog.  

With improvements on beaters for our favorite KitchenAid mixers that scrape the bowl while mixing the ingredients, add this latest Whisk-A- Bowl attachment from Pourfect.  Working 3 times faster than a regular whisk, this beater with its’ coiled wires lift and blend the ingredients, adding air to every rotation.  Lighter soufflés, creamier and higher meringues, and wait to you see what it does to whipped cream!   

Applications of this tool are only limited by your imagination.  At Chefs™ $42.00-$46.00 depending on your KitchenAid model.  Free Shipping on Purchases of $75 or more at Chefs, use coupon code:  BW1EM6005.  Check out KitchenAids new pasta press attachment, mamma mia!

What's Old Is New Again #3: Celebrity Endorsed Kitchen Gadgets

On Monday, March 29, 2010,  Rachael Ray’s TV Show, her guest Super Bowl Champ Reggie Bush introduced us to the new manual

Quick Chef by Tupperware®.

However, this is not a new idea, the Veggie Chop™, reg.$41.99 clearance priced*$29.99.

Plus the scaled down version, the Instant Chopper, reg. $14.99 clearance priced *$9.99.

Now one can say that Tuppeware’s ® Quick Chef, reg.$52.50 with it’s feed tube is a better mousetrap, but if price is the driving force, then perhaps you should consider these alternatives offered by *The Home Marketplace.

Unless, we all lose electrical energy, personally MarkdownMom would rather stay with her Cuisinart food processor because of its’ expanded applications; but, then again, both the Tupperware’s Quick Chef and the Veggie Chop and Instant Chopper are greener since they are manual applications.

Don’t Rely Only On Endorsements, Compare & Choose To Find The Bargain!

Pod People

No, we are not talking about devotees of the 1956 sci-fi cult movie Invasion Of The Body Snatchers.  What we are talking about is one of the new genre of hot kitchen gadgets.  On Monday, March 15, 2010 GMA host Becky Worley revealed some of the new items from the 2010 International Homes and Housewares Show.

One new item that MarkdownMom found interesting was the FoodPod™ by Fusionbrands® .  This is one of those new silicone heat resistant products that can make cooking medium size and larger  items fast and safer.  Boiling eggs poses a problem since once you  get the boiling water going for eggs, using a large spoon and dropping them into the water, one by one, inevitably results in cracking one or more eggs that spews its’ albumin into the water.   The FoodPod is a pouch with holes that allows you to boil, blanch, steam and drain in one easy operation many items such as shrimp, small potatoes, eggs, cauliflower and broccoli florets plus it has a handle that also clips onto the pan or lid top for easy retrieval.  It must be noted that smaller items like frozen mixed vegetables can slip through the holes.  At Amazon, $14.50.

Become one of the Pod People,  Handy, Safe, and Efficient!

T Day Minus 8 and Counting!

Thanksgiving is not far off, and most of us this weekend will either finalize our plans for the feast, or for the majority of us, we will begin to gear up for the holiday.  If you want to be successful at any endeavor you need the right tools.  Just like a surgeon has his/her own instruments specially made, a chef relies a lot on his/her prep tools.  Sharp knives, quality pots and pans, and all those great gadgets that make the task easier, but add that degree of professionalism. 

Markdown Mom came across another one of those hot new gadgets and this one comes from Rachael Ray.  Her silicone lazy spoon and ladle are just perfect for preparing the turkey gravy and so many other dishes.  Comes in green, blue, and orange made from silicone that can withstand temperatures to 500° plus they are notched so that they can rest on the rim of your pan.  What a handy gadget!    At Amazon for $19.95+sh.

Guess Which Color Markdown Mom Bought???

For Everything There Is A Season!

Sooner or later, every chef or celebrity cook will extol the virtues of cooking with cast iron pans and pots.  Around the campfire or in the most sophisticated kitchens, any cook worthy of his/her esteem position whether on t.v. or in the home, will have a set of cast iron cookware.  Even some of the priciest name brands are enameled cast iron cookware.

For bargain hunters you can find cast iron cookware at auction sites, thrift stores, and tag sales.  Even new pieces of cast iron cookware can be found at a reasonable price.  The only trouble that you will encounter, whether buying used or new with cast iron, is that it must be seasoned.  Oftentimes with older pieces you will find that you have to remove rust from the pan and re-season it.  The best pans are those that are in great condition and have been seasoned by many years of wonderful ingredients and food.

But what can you do when you get a new cast iron pan or restoring an old one to obtain that wonderful seasoned condition?

Well, Cooking Enthusiast® has found a product that not only is labor saving, but relatively inexpensive and is made from all-natural products.  Cast Iron Conditioner recommended by chefs, seasons and protects your cast iron without the tedious oil and heating methods usually used to season cast iron.  Just a little dab will do you! For $12.99 for a 6 oz. tube, you’ll save money just in convenience alone and your family will appreciate all those wonderful home cook fast food meals flavored and healthy as only cast iron cookware can provide.

Go Forward and Wield That Cast Iron Pan With Confidence!